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Re: [Death To Religion] R.I.P. atheism is horrible.

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  • praesto12
    It seems that the discussion has been rather open. If you are ashamed of what you believe then that s fine. Also, for clint, the jews are a race,
    Message 1 of 394 , May 8, 2010
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      It seems that the discussion has been rather open. If you are ashamed of what you believe then that's fine.

      Also, for clint, the "jews" are a race, biologically.

      From: Richard Godwin <meta@...>
      To: deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sat, May 8, 2010 10:40:22 AM
      Subject: Re: [Death To Religion] R.I.P. atheism is horrible.

      This discussion is not about me. It first was about the Reverend, now about

      Richard Godwin.

      "A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is
      constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion
      than he can possess a private sun and moon."
      – G. K. Chesterton, The Book of Job

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "praesto12" <Praesto12@yahoo. com>
      To: <deathtoreligion@ yahoogroups. com>
      Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 8:43 PM
      Subject: Re: [Death To Religion] R.I.P. atheism is horrible.

      What do you believe in Godwin?

      ____________ _________ _________ __
      From: Richard Godwin <meta@...>
      To: deathtoreligion@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Fri, May 7, 2010 7:02:26 PM
      Subject: Re: [Death To Religion] R.I.P. atheism is horrible.

      So you limit your analysis of atheism to particular noted writers.
      Apparently you fail to see their true and practical insights they have
      gained without relying on religion. Too bad.

      The meaning of evidence. It is observation which is presented to the
      healthy open-minded observer of reality, and which is agreed upon by
      consensus of other healthy minded observers, for the purpose of objective
      knowledge of what is purportedly real. There are many "scriptures" , which
      are written documents of others with subjective observations and beliefs who
      make claims about reality. But we should not base our beliefs on their
      claims without our own critical analysis searching for objectivity through
      logic and reasonableness. There are some few universal truths in all
      scriptures, but they are inconsistent, each internally, and between them.

      You say you believe in scripture. Which scripture do you choose? Yes, and
      that is your own subjective preference. You claim it is logical, and in
      parts surely it is if based on certain premises that are presupposed, for
      example the possibility of "miracles," which do not pass the test of
      examination. You believe the message of Christ, but it is only your belief,
      and it fails to notice the conflicting statements about Christ in your
      scriptures. There is no "the" message of Christ. There are several. You
      have an appropriate basis for your own subjective belief only for yourself,
      and others have the same for theirs. Whom shall we believe? And what is a
      "hell"? There are several ideas, conflicting, of what that is, not just
      among various scriptures, but also in yours. Hell in not in the Old
      Testament, and it was imported to late Hellenistic Judaism and Christianity
      from Zoroastrian, so to understand it correctly, you need to study it in
      that scripture. People have experiences of hell as a negative quality in
      their experiences, not as some objective "place" or whatever. People also
      have experiences of mirages, UFO's, capture by aliens, and other illusions.

      One is righteous who makes efforts to help humanity. There is no judgment
      required for that. Judgment is based on moral principles governing a
      society in a culture. Judgment is strictly human, people judging others.
      God is love. God is not a judge who condemns people. You believe
      subjectively what seems right to you, whether or not illusory, since you
      have no means to distinguish illusion from reality. For what is or may be
      real, You are the one who has an opinion what doesn't matter. So you see,
      it's he said...she said. Here is where evidence and reason come in: judging
      for truth that can be accepted for all people.

      I have further comments in particular below:

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "praesto12" <Praesto12@yahoo. com>
      To: <deathtoreligion@ yahoogroups. com>
      Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 1:19 PM
      Subject: Re: [Death To Religion] R.I.P. atheism is horrible.

      I would slightly disagree with you on this topic. I have to admit that I
      don't like what little I know about you via these emails. You seem very
      arrogant but perhaps I'm wrong. In any case, people turn scripture into a
      basis from which they think they are "better than" others. And in fact, a
      good portion of the Bible is God's frustation with Israel on this very
      matter. All people are evil. We are all corrupt little bastard sinners. I
      am. You are. We take something as incredible as the Bible and we try to use
      it to prove we are better than others. This is not because of the message of
      Christ, but rather against it.

      And you show you have no knowledge of logic.

      Ad hominem.

      ME: What a laugh! You call me arrogant and accuse me of ad hominem by
      just pointing out your lack of knowledge of logic. People are not born
      evil. Good and evil apply to behavior with others. Good is helping others.
      Bad or evil is hurting others. Simple as that, and all there is to it.

      Simply because it doesn't make sense. To claim to know that there is no God
      is to claim that I know w/o a doubt that I know everything. It is the
      absolute negation of the absolute. It is to say that I am making a truth
      claim about my knowledge of God not existing. I know there is no God. A
      no/with out Theos god. What if you knew half of everything in the world,
      could it be possible that knowledge of God is in the other half? In
      addition, on what basis does an Atheist assume that anything is rational?
      Why believe(via faith) that a chaotic bang created rationality to begin
      with? You undermine the ground you are walking on when you affirm totally
      the lack of God. Everything is choas, from that standpoint, why believe

      ME: Basically atheism is the belief that the God concept is unreasonable,
      doesn't fit facts or the test of plausbility. Nothing is certain. We think
      and live our lives through probabilities of truth. Truth is a quality of a
      statement or belief; it is not a thing "out there." So the claim there is
      no God is like all other claims: probable and subject to the test of
      reason. There is no "absolute negation", for that is unreasonable. There
      is no "absolute" in any sense (meaning), because there is no evidence or
      reason for such. There is no negative knowledge of God. There is just
      belief there is no God until shown to be reasonable. You assume certainty,
      but there is none. There may be a God, thus the reference to "the Unknown
      God," the most accurate expression of the idea of God. The basis of what is
      rational is what passes the test of evidence and reasonableness. The BB
      theory of the beginning of the universe is reasonable as fitting the
      evidence in complex ways of cosmological science. Rationality was not
      created; it is a quality of human thinking. The universe is not rational
      itself; understanding it is based on what we know rationally. The is no need
      for a God; evolution theory shows that. Chaos exists through order: both
      working together in our universe of high entropy. We believe to live,
      practical enough.

      Me previously: For example, 1. belief should be based evidence and reason.

      No. You are wrong, again. You would first need to articulate a difference
      between fact and opinions.

      ME: Yes. And reason does that for us.

      Opinions don't need to be based on reason.

      ME: Often they are not. But opinions of what is real, for credibility must
      be based on reason.

      I just like vanilla ice cream. It's not a process of syllogistic reasoning
      that leads me to that opinion.

      ME: Who cares? Actually no one cares but you.

      And then again you are also very quick to through the term reason around.
      What do you mean? Why do you believe reason is around to begin with? I would
      ask the same questions of what you mean by the term evidence. You make these
      assumptive statements with no backing as to what you are relating the
      statements too, you attack me as a form of argument which is illogical (read
      above) and then you just seem to general bitch? On the basis of what you
      write, what I personallyl percieve, and your looseness with language it's
      amazing that you feel or believe or think that any "intelligent" individual
      would take you serious. There are probably points on both sides that need

      ME: Reason is not something to be around: it is a quality of thinking.
      Does the earth revolve and traverse the sun? Yes, and how do we know:
      answer: evidence observed through the telescope over time periods. Is
      there a God out there in the universe? Maybe, but so far no evidence, not
      seen through the telescope or any other way of which we are capable. The
      proof is in the pudding. Why do you believe the sun will "rise" tomorrow
      morning? It always has before, right? That's evidence. What more clarity
      do you need?

      Me previously: 2. belief in
      God is based on faith, with no evidence or reason.

      You need to clear up your thinking from above, elaborate on what you mean by
      the terms you so broadly use, slow down a bit and perhaps read some more.
      I'm not trying to play word games here, but rather we reviewing specific
      terms and ideas it's important to establish that we are standing on the same
      ground so to speak. Prophecy,neccessity , historical validity,morality,
      personal experience, physics,mathematics , creation, common sense all point
      to God. We can discuss any terms if neccessary. I do also realize that
      objective claims of truth about reality does not correlate to what my
      "personal experience" may have been. By this I mean that it is not the
      essential point from which one ought to argue for anything, but it is
      important in the dialouge. Do you understand my meaning?

      ME: Where is your proof? Where is your evidence? How is your believe
      reasonable? Do you admit it is not reasonable, i.e. based on reason? So
      now you admit belief cannot be based entirely on "personal experience." But
      what does that mean? Everything is experience, and all experience is
      personal! Reason operates through personal experience, that of all people.
      So far you have said nothing that has meaning that can be understood.

      Me previously: 3. Therefore, belief
      that there is no God is logically possible. Wouldn't that be good logic?

      Define God. Stating that you know there is no God does not make sense. At
      best we are at a point of agnosticism; who knows?

      ME: It is up to you to define God. My statement is based on any definition
      of God, and there are many. What is yours? "There is no Santa Claus":
      Does that statement make any sense to you? Ahhh: maybe you are an agnostic.

      Me previously: Use of scientific methodology is not "Scientism". Believe
      there is no
      possibility of truth outside the realm of science is Scientism, and not
      accepted by the intelligent and informed atheist.

      To the contrary. Many Atheist it seems readily buy into this notion. But I'm
      glad to see you clarify. I think it's interesting that you are arguing for
      atheism, when if I recall correctly you yourself are a believer...kind of.
      You are an inclusivist Christian. Isn't that correct?

      ME: Correct, I am not an atheist. Yes, I am an inclusivist Christian.

      Me previously: The only standard for acquiring truth probably is the use
      reason based on
      consensus-derived evidence. There is, nor can be, no certainty for the
      limited human mind.

      Are you certain about that statement? haha. If you are certain then you
      contradict your statement. If you are not certain then why are you making
      the statement? It's a point of discussion that I'm interesting in
      discussing. For the sake of time perhaps we can break this particular point
      down a bit more and not regress into back and forth rantings.

      ME: No. There is no certainty: and that is not certain, and that is not
      certain, and that is not certain, ad infinitum. We believe in what works.
      "My car will take me somewhere"-- I know that if it does that. "God (or
      Santa Claus) brings me presents"--I know that only if "he" does that, and so
      far he hasn't. Is that breaking it down sufficiently?

      "Is the use reason based on consensus-derived evidence" clean up your
      grammer a bit here for the sake of clarity, not argumentation.
      I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Using reason which is based on what many
      people claim to believe about what has been obsereved is the best hope we
      have to derive truth? Is that what you mean. Let's discuss epistemology a
      bit more.

      ME: "Consensus-derived" means a statement or proposition that is agreed to
      be practically all healthy-minded people, called a consensus, which confirms
      evidence. Is that something even you can understand? Not just "many
      people". Many people believe Mohammad got on his horse and flew in the air
      over to the temple many miles away. Some people (the proto-orthodox early
      Christians) believe Jesus died and afterwards (three days) arose up in the
      sky to a heaven. No, those don't work. Let's make a test of it, like is
      done in science, the way science operates: the proof is in the pudding.
      Epistemology: that's a very big word for you to use. Yes: have at it.

      Rich G.

      For you, truth is based on faith, thus not
      distinguishable from faith-belief in ghosts or fairies. An enhanced culture
      must be based on universal acceptance of belief based on the use of good
      reasoning by all.

      Let's examine your standards for belief:

      1. Hope: You cannot accept reality for what it is and use reason in
      dealing with reality, so for your sense of security you must rely on hope,
      such as hope that some supernatural being will help you when you can't help
      yourself. That is hope based only on wishful thinking.

      2. Faith: You believe what suits your wishes and desires, so that when
      your belief cannot be refuted within reality, you go outside reality to what
      cannot be disproven. But the same can be claimed that some supernatural
      malevolent deity (Satan?) really operates the world, causing universal
      constant human suffering that reduces the weak of mind to hope in what is
      impossible. It is just as likely your are in the grips of Satan as your
      God, even more evidence for that through the ubiquitous and severe suffering
      of humanity throughout its existence.

      3. Salvation: You can't handle yourself satisfactorily with problems in
      the real world, or you cannot escape your suffering, thus you resort to the
      impossible for a way out after you die ("all I have to do is wait til I die,
      and everything will be all right for me"), and in addition to have a life
      forever that has no problems whatsoever. Your concept of salvation is
      purely self-serving and illusory.

      4. Forgiveness: Forgiveness of another person by someone has a definite
      and strong basis in science as truly beneficial for individuals and humanity
      as a whole, and is not based on religion. Such forgiveness is beneficial
      for both the one forgiven (when expressed) and the forgiver. This is
      confirmed in both psychology and neuroscience. Feeling forgiven by some
      supernatural all-powerful source is only a psychological illusory tool to
      escape the suffering of personal guilt, and it can be beneficial so long as
      not used as excuse for harming others, which often it is. But unfortunately
      it does not incite one to help others.

      5. Peace: Peace found in blind faith is not as effective and long-lasting
      as peace realized through one's own efforts in oneself and in community,
      providing the sense of security found in the satisfaction one receives from
      success from one's own efforts. A blind faith peace is not truly effective
      and is dependent only so long as one can fool him/herself in believing in
      that life after death carrot, and hiding (suppression) one's own negative

      6. Glory and Meaning. Whatever "glory" means and true meaning is realized
      and sustained through one's efforts in community for enhancing humanity.
      What meaning could possibly be attained through "glory by and by we don't
      know when, but it must be there"--cuz we need it and desire it?

      Unfortunately, fooling oneself with empty belief is doomed to failure,
      whereas the true Christian strives with others to make a better humanity,
      based on realization there is no life other than in this real world, and
      make the best of it one can. That includes working for elimination of bad
      or evil behavior of all people in humanity through spreading concern and
      love worldwide, real efforts with real results. Religion provides the most
      evident source for malevolence, such as pedophilia, wars, and other forms of
      violence, partly because it provides a felt excuse for such that infects
      many other people to be the same.

      Rich G.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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    • Richard Godwin
      The inventors call it the world s first synthetic cell, although this initial step is more a re-creation of existing life — changing one simple type of
      Message 394 of 394 , Jun 4, 2010
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        The inventors call it the world's first synthetic cell, although this
        initial step is more a re-creation of existing life — changing one simple
        type of bacterium into another — than a built-from-scratch kind. The result
        is what they call a “synthetic cell,” though only its genome is artificial,
        or synthetic. We have improved on nature to create versions of genes and
        proteins that do not exist in the wild.

        And, recently, we have begun to build genomes in the laboratory. The first
        to be made, eight years ago, was poliovirus. Then it became possible to make
        synthetic copies of existing bacterial genomes. Now, with the results
        published last week, we can begin to manufacture genomes for bacteria that
        do not exist in nature.
        The difficulties, however, remain great. Last week’s announcement, while an
        enormous and complex technical achievement, was a baby step toward designer
        life, not a giant leap. The resulting bacterium is little different from a
        bacterium that already exists. The principle difference is that its DNA
        carries some “watermarks” — special sequences — that identify it as having
        been made, not evolved.

        Mr. Thomas (not even a Ph.D.?) misses the point. This is not creating life
        "for the first time." The results give us the huge advantage if creation of
        NEW life from existing life.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "praesto12" <Praesto12@...>
        To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 8:08 PM
        Subject: Re: [Death To Religion] Re: Abiogenesis (was: Creation so-called
        'Scientists')Godwin is wrong.

        Have Scientists Created a Synthetic Cell?
        by Brian Thomas, M.S. *
        Scientists claim they have successfully created "synthetic life" for the
        first time. In a 15-year project, a team led by genomics pioneer Craig
        Venter synthesized DNA from inanimate chemicals. Headlines through several
        news agencies announced they had created a living cell, but what exactly did
        these researchers accomplish?
        In their study published in Science, the researchers of the J. Craig Venter
        Institute used machines to synthesize DNA, which they then inserted into
        already living cells. However, the particular DNA sequence they manufactured
        was an exact copy--except for precisely-placed "watermark" alterations--of
        pre-existing DNA from a living strain of bacteria that had been selected for
        its ability to be cloned and reinserted into a bacterium.
        The researchers went through plenty of bacterial strains to find one with
        DNA that could undergo the transfer and cloning processes. After that, it
        was a matter of artificially synthesizing DNA to exactly match the strain
        that they knew would work. Even after this, it didn't initially succeed. An
        error had crept into their synthesized DNA, and "success was thwarted for
        many weeks by a single base pair deletion in the essential gene dnaA."1
        This illustrates the high level of specification that had been built into
        these bacterial genomes in the first place.2 In order for their endeavor to
        succeed, the researchers had to conform their DNA sequence, in all the
        critical places, to that of the bacteria's. In their words, "this project
        was critically dependent on the accuracy of these [original bacterial]
        DNA is a very long two-stranded molecule composed of four repeating
        chemicals, like beads on a string, called bases. The base on one strand
        pairs with a particular base on the opposite strand, forming a base pair.
        Many genomes have millions or billions of base pairs, but the genome of the
        tiny bacteria that these researchers copied was only 582,970 DNA base pairs
        They sequenced every base, transferring the data to a computer. They then
        synthesized new DNA to precisely match the sequence. Due to limitations of
        the DNA synthesizer, they had to start by manufacturing over 1,000
        individual lengths, each with approximately 1,080 base pairs. This included
        extra DNA required for splicing the lengths together. The synthesized genome
        was then transferred to yeast, which can accurately copy long sequences of
        DNA and have enzymes that maintain DNA integrity. Finally, the researchers
        transferred the laboratory-synthesized, yeast-cloned DNA into a living
        bacterium that had its own DNA removed. The resulting cells grew and
        multiplied successfully in the lab.
        So, after millions of dollars and untold man-hours, pre-existing information
        was copied from cells into computers, and then placed back into living cells
        by purposefully manipulating both man-made and cellular machine systems. The
        resulting cell was therefore not wholly synthetic--only its DNA. But other
        than four added watermark sequences that served to verify the results, even
        that DNA was an exact copy of an already functioning bacterial genome.
        Despite the headlines, the scientists did not create a bacterial cell from
        scratch. Instead, they "refer to such a cell controlled by a genome
        assembled from chemically synthesized pieces of DNA as a 'synthetic cell',
        even though the cytoplasm of the recipient cell is not synthetic."1 But the
        cytoplasm has the machines required for all necessary cellular tasks like
        carrying sugars, copying DNA, taking out trash, converting energy,
        regulating production speeds, manufacturing proteins, communicating with the
        environment, and so on. None of that was artificially synthesized.
        In what may be an attempt to add gravitas to this research, Venter told the
        Financial Times, "We have passed through a critical psychological barrier."3
        Surely, this is a reference to ideas about the creation of life being the
        sole domain of God. But there are reasons why it would be an overstatement
        to say that this synthesized DNA represents some kind of "divine"
        First, there is no biblical mandate that precludes mankind from attempting
        to build bacteria. Second, since bacteria do not breathe, they do not
        possess the "breath of life" that the Creator built into certain animals.
        So, like plants, bacteria do not have a soul or "life principle" and can be
        considered just very highly organized matter.4
        Thus, even if scientists can eventually create an entire self-replicating
        cell--including every working part--from scratch, they still will not have
        "passed through a critical psychological barrier," because they will only
        have succeeded in adding fantastic amounts of organization to previously
        existing matter. Such an organism would not have "life" in the same sense
        that humans do. Souls are not matter, yet they mysteriously reside in
        certain creatures.
        Overall, this research could serve at least two good purposes. The
        biotechniques that these scientists pioneered could improve medical
        technology. Also, by encountering the specificity with which these bacterial
        cells are constructed, investigators can get a closer appreciation for the
        engineering genius of their real Architect. In light of what the Lord Jesus
        accomplished in creating whole, reproducing cells without a reference
        template, what little these researchers achieved nevertheless "was
        complicated and required many quality control steps."1 How much more control
        was therefore required to have invented the whole cell in the first place,
        and how much more plain can the evidence for a Creator be?5
        If anything, this research verifies that His handiwork is wondrous. If a
        team of brilliant scientists only succeeded in copying information from a
        germ to a computer and back to a germ, then the Originator of that
        information must be far more brilliant.
        1. Gibson, D. G. et al. Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a
        Chemically Synthesized Genome. Science. Published online May 20, 2010.
        2. See also: Thomas, B. Bacteria Study Shoots Down 'Simple Cell'
        Assumptions.ICR News. Posted on icr.org January 4, 2010, accessed May 25,
        3. Cookson, C. Scientists create a living organism. Financial Times. Posted
        on ft.com May 20, 2010, accessed May 20, 2010.
        4. Criswell, D. C. 2009. Origin of Life. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation
        Research, 13-15. See also Morris, J. 1991. Are Plants Alive? Acts & Facts.
        20: (9).
        5. Guliuzza, R. J. Natural Selection Is Not "Nature's Design Process." Acts
        & Facts. 39 (4): 10-12.
        * Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

        From: Richard Godwin <meta@...>
        To: deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sun, May 30, 2010 10:56:33 PM
        Subject: Re: [Death To Religion] Re: Abiogenesis (was: Creation so-called

        I meant to give the source articles describing Venter's discovery:

        A step to artificial life: Manmade DNA powers cell

        By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard, Ap Medical Writer
        Thu May 20, 7:54 pm ET

        WASHINGTON –

        Scientists announced a bold step Thursday in the enduring quest to create
        artificial life. They've produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA. The
        inventors call it the world's first synthetic cell, although this initial
        step is more a re-creation of existing life — changing one simple type of
        bacterium into another — than a built-from-scratch kind.

        Scientists report first cell made with artificial genes

        May 20, 2010

        Courtesy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and
        World Science staff

        Scientists say they have developed the first cell controlled by an
        artificial genome.

        Although it’s a near-copy of a natural genome, the researchers say their
        method can be used to better understand the basic machinery driving life,
        and to engineer bacteria for tasks such as fuel production or environmental

        ..The research group, at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md.,
        was already credited with chemically producing a bacterial genome, and with
        transplanting the genome of one bacterium to another. In the latest work,
        reported in the May 21 issue of the research journal Science, the team
        combined both methods. The result is what they call a “synthetic cell,”
        though only its genome is artificial, or synthetic.

        “This is the first synthetic cell... we call it synthetic because the cell
        is totally derived from a synthetic chromosome, made with four bottles of
        chemicals on a chemical synthesizer, starting with information in a
        computer,” said J. Craig Venter, president of the institute and leader of
        the research.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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